A Canadian citizen recorded a video after getting arrested while sitting in the backseat of a police car.
“Okay, I’m in the back of a police car. I’m in cuffs. Help me!” Emily Nield said at the beginning of the video.
Nield is sitting in the back of the car in Cook County, Georgia, after being arrested.
A deputy stopped her for speeding, and the trouble started when Nield was asked for her driver’s license and registration. Nield, though, only had a Canadian driver’s license.
“She then proceeded to tell me that my Ontario license was not valid in the state of Georgia and that this offense would cause me to be arrested. She said that normally I would be given the speeding ticket and allowed to go on my way but because I had an Ontario license I could not keep driving,” Nield told Fox 5.
Nield said that the deputy asked for further proof of identification but wasn’t satisfied with another government-issued ID. Nield said she was then arrested and claimed she wasn’t read her rights.
“I’m freaking out and I’m recording myself because I don’t know what to do. I got pulled over because my brake light is out. And they found out that I had driver’s license, but I didn’t have my passport with me, so they said so my license was invalid,” Nield said in her Snapchat video. “They’re taking away my car. And now I can’t drive. And I don’t know what to do. I’m in Georgia!”
Nield said she was not allowed to contact a lawyer or see a judge but instead was told she would have to pay her bail or stay in jail until June 12, when the hearing was set. The arrest happened in early April.
VIRAL: A Canadian woman posted a Snapchat video from the back of a Georgia sheriff's deputy vehicle last month after she was arrested for not having a valid driver's license.https://t.co/qPJgHqOBAm pic.twitter.com/HuP3uDe9Wq
— Newschannel 6 (@Newschannel6Now) May 9, 2018
Just a few weeks later, Nield noted, her case was dismissed by a judge and the records of her arrest were ordered deleted. She was reimbursed for the bail.
Capt. Brent Exum of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that protocol was followed because officers require a passport or visa to verify identities.
“Interstate 75 brings approximately one million travelers through Cook County each month. With those travelers, law enforcement regularly encounters individuals who are engaged in crimes such as identity theft and will have on their person a license that is not their(‘s) or of those stolen or illegally reproduced,” he said, reported WALB.
“That is why we follow Georgia DDS guidelines and request a passport or visa to verify their identity.”
The office also stated that Nield was incorrect in claiming she would be kept in jail until June 12.
“Georgia law states that any individual who is arrested on a non-warrant is entitled to a first appearance hearing to be advised of their rights and bond within 48 hours of arrest. It is important to note that despite the driver’s license issue, Georgia law allows law enforcement officers to require the posting of a cash bond for non-residents even for the offense of speeding because their driver’s license cannot be displayed in lieu of bail,” the office stated.
Cook County Solicitor Matthew Bennett, who dropped the charges, noted that Nield had told an officer she was living in Tennessee, which requires even non-permanent residents to obtain a driver’s license or ID card.
Nield said she was confused by the loud highway sounds. She said she doesn’t plan to file charges, but the Canadian Consulate has contacted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for clarification over the incident. Nield also told CBC she wants the officer who arrested her to receive a formal reprimand and apologize to her.